I'll have to admit it, I was jealous at first. It took me quite a while to grasp the full nature of their relationship, and when i finally did, I felt like an idiot. But at that time, I was jealous of how well the two of them got along. At how easy it was for the two of them to develop a friendship. Within days, his 'just don't get in the way' attitude had completely changed. They got along like peas in a pod, and soon enough they were cracking jokes and acting like they were life long buddies. Considering that we were around eight or nine, that wasn't saying much. But it was enough to annoy me. It was harder for me to get along with her. Sure, I was curious about this foreign girl and her ways, but it took me longer to get accustomed to her presence. And even after I did, we didn't exactly get along. We were like water and oil, didn't mix. And it wasn't long before we were arguing. The two of us argued over the smallest things, like the children we were. It would be a couple of years before we manage to act more civil towards each other, and a couple more for me to start thinking that I might be in love with her. Of course I didn't really believe it, I didn't really understand it. But it was a possibility I had to consider.
But like I said, I was jealous.
My own feelings were painting a different picture than what really was there, and I actually believed it. But what would you have me do? If you had seen the way the two of them acted, you'd be suspicious as well. And I resigned. Resigned that I wasn't the one she had chosen. But really, with the way we were towards each other, what did I expect? She couldn't really fall for me. No. Not while she had him anyway. Now I know that there was love between the two of them. Just not the one I thought I saw. He loves her. Very much, actually. But not in that way. She's like a sister to him. A family member. A part of him, that he treasures very deeply and doesn't want to see hurt and would do anything for. Recently, he actually confessed to me that at some point, he had actually felt that way towards her, but it didn't last long. Their relationship wasn't meant to be that way, and he didn't want to ruin everything. I never knew he could be that thoughtful.
"You love her don't you?" the question was asked when we were around sixteen, I think. A lifetime away. I was so taken aback by his outburst that I nearly choked in my drink. Unfortunately that served as enough confirmation for him. Lately, I had been making myself scarce, busying myself with training and studying, and just generally avoiding their company. Jealousy stung so deeply in my chest I felt better if I wasn't in their presence, feeling like an unwanted companion, butting in on some private business. They both had managed to corner me in different occasions, both inquiring about my continuous absence. I, of course, had shrugged it off, claiming to both I had been busy training and studying, telling her that I would find some time to hang out and telling him he would do best if he focused on his duties. That only kept them satisfied for so long, and that morning when the question came I felt as though as I had been stabbed. As if my perfect plan was, after all, very much flawed, and everyone could see through me.
I was surprised he was so insightful. I never expected him to figure it out, and for a moment I just stood there, staring at him, mouth agape, before I could find the right words to say. "What are you talking about?" he had smirked. Gods how I hated that smirk of his. He always did it when he though he knew something other people didn't. And most of the times, he did know something others didn't. Seeing it directed at me made me swallow. I glanced down at the table, and clenched my fists. There was no way to avoid this now, he could be like a dog with a bone - just didn't let go. If I continued to feign my ignorance, he would never leave me alone until I confessed. It was just a matter of time. And as much as I would appreciate to delay the confrontation, it was best just to get over with it. Even though I didn't really understand it myself. "I... I don't know." How could I know? My experience with love had been rather limited, I wasn't really ready to make such a claim. For him, however, it was as if I had just told him she was the love of my life, that I couldn't spend another minute without her and that I was ready to marry her. Or at least it looked like it for the way he was grinning like a madman.
I chucked a piece of bread at his head and scowled. That only fueled him, unfortunately.
"I knew it!" he exclaimed, making me sink into my seat, desperate to avoid the eyes that had set on us. "That's why you've been avoiding us, right?" he continued, much lower, and the other students returned their attention to their meals. I nodded some, and sat a bit straighter, my eyes focused on my plate. "I... I don't know. Besides... I didn't want to get in the way. You too look pretty happy together." It took him a while to grasp the meaning behind my words, but when he finally did, he started laughing. Effectively bringing everyone's attention to us. I sunk again in my seat, praying for the earth to swallow me. Or to be struck by lighting. Since none of it happened, I resigned to glare at him - who knew, maybe I had some sort of special power that would make him catch on fire. He managed to regain some composure though, sparing me from stabbing him with my knife.
"You really thought... I mean... The two of us? Like together? No. NO" that was even more surprising. I blinked, not sure if I had understood it correctly. He cleared his throat before carrying on "That would be like dating my sister, or something. It'd be weird as hell." He still felt like laughing while I stat there, not quite believing. "I can't believe you really though something was going on." he muttered, shaking his head.
That afternoon, the three of us got together again.